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Skin Cancer Specialist

Rapaport Dermatology of Beverly Hills

Dermatologists located in Beverly Hills, CA & Culver City, CA

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and 1 out of every 5 Americans is diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. At Rapaport Dermatology of Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills and Culver City, California, board-certified dermatologist Vicki Rapaport, MD, specializes in skin cancer and can diagnose and treat your cancerous lesion to reduce your risk of more serious health complications. For an evaluation, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Skin Cancer

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer refers to the abnormal growth of skin cells. The abnormalities most often develop on the areas of your skin that get the most sun exposure. There are several types of skin cancer, but the most common include melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is the most deadly of the skin cancers. The tumors most often occur in people between the ages of 20 and 50. If undetected, melanoma grows and metastasizes to other organs. 

Checking your skin for abnormalities may identify changes early. Dr. Rapaport recommends you follow the ABCDE when evaluating moles and skin growths for warning signs:

  • Asymmetry
  • Border irregularity
  • Color variation
  • Diameter larger than a pencil eraser
  • Evolving

If your provider suspects your skin growth is melanoma, she takes a biopsy and has it tested. When detected early, melanoma can be cured with surgical extraction. If your melanoma is advanced, you may require more extensive surgery, along with radiation, chemotherapy, and/or immunotherapy.

What is basal cell carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer in the United States. The skin lesions often develop on sun-exposed skin, including the face, ears, scalp, chest, and back. 

Basal cell carcinoma may appear pink, translucent, papule, or as a nodule with rolled borders. They can also appear as open sores or shiny patches. 

The team at Rapaport Dermatology of Beverly Hills can diagnose basal cell carcinoma after a biopsy of the lesion. Treatment for the common skin cancer may depend on the location, size, depth of penetration, and overall health. 

Dr. Rapaport uses a simple elliptical excision to remove the cancerous tissue. A repeat procedure may be needed. 

What is squamous cell carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. The tumors usually develop in sun-exposed areas of your skin, including face, scalp, ears, hands, and neck. However, squamous cell carcinoma may also develop on other areas of your body not exposed to the sun.

Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as a wart-like growth, open bleeding sore, or scaly patch that doesn’t resolve. Dr. Rapaport can diagnose squamous cell carcinoma after a skin biopsy.

Treatment for your squamous cell cancer may depend on the location of the lesion, as well as the size and depth. Surgical excision is the primary method of treatment for squamous cell carcinoma. There are many surgical methods for removing the lesion, including:

  • Simple elliptical excision
  • Mohs micrographic surgery
  • Curettage and electrodessication 

In some cases, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may also be needed.

Skin cancer is common but can be cured with early detection and treatment. For a comprehensive evaluation from an experienced dermatologist, contact Rapaport Dermatology of Beverly Hills by phone or use the online booking tool.